I decided to laugh at life before it laughs at me.

A man finds a way to get housed…

Being homeless, courting park benches and bus shelters, sleeping under trees and at various other shelters, I decided to laugh at life before it laughs at me.

I was wary of organized shelters, having heard stories of theft and violence that invariably occurs there. Winter drove me to seek the climatic warmth of the Salvation Army. I was thrown out of the hostels so many times, not for violence or uttering, but for what they deemed to be intoxication.

I am a friendly drunk but the smell of liquor on my breath was rewarded with another bout of weathering nights in parks. I told staff that I would be better off if I smoked crack, since it was odourless. I succumbed to it, guaranteeing me a night in the shelter.

I don't use anymore. I'm lucky that I am not addicted. Just prior to being housed, I slept at the Out Of The Cold program. I chose to stay there because I discovered that the reason many people stay so long at shelters is because they are too comfortable. It was one of the worst experiences I ever had and it gave me the momentum to get out, with assistance from Street Health.

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